I am a Las Vegas local that lives in Summerlin. I wanted to check out all the changes at major casinos in the market over the last few days. Downtown was going to be the largest opening, so I went there first.
Fremont Street Experience was empty
I started out at the Fremont Street Experience around mid-afternoon on June 3. It was empty. I was surprised to find no street bars open. American Coney Island and a gift shop was the extent of businesses I found allowing customers.
I walked over to Downtown Grand and found Freedom Beat open. I had a beer at the bar and took another in plastic for the road. I headed back to Fremont Street to see what had changed. Nothing had.
Access to Fremont Street is restricted right now. The only entrance that is not along Fremont Street is the alley that leads to Downtown Grand. The ones between The D and Four Queens, and Binion’s and Circa, are closed. Security stands at the entrances and cards nearly everyone. I was asked to show ID about a dozen times throughout the night. Fremont Street Experience guests must be at least 21 years of age right now. No backpacks or large bags are permitted.
I met a few people downtown and chatted. After that, with so little going on, I decided to head home and have dinner with my wife. I headed back down around 10pm. When I arrived, I met a few other people. The street bars were open, but we could not get in the doors of Golden Gate, Golden Nugget or The D before opening because it was restricted to hotel guests.
And the doors open
I was outside Golden Nugget when it opened. This is what it looked like:
I walked inside Golden Nugget about 12:05am. It already seemed like a normal night. People were playing table games, slots were active. There were people at the bar. There was plenty of spacing, but it was towards the higher end of the comfortable range.
My next stop was Golden Gate. It seemed like a normal Wednesday night after midnight. I noticed all its proprietary games are gone. It is all blackjack, roulette and craps. Like Golden Nugget, the crowd was on the higher end of comfort but far from any concern.
The D was next on the list. The casino got a lot of grief from observers for being too crowded. It was the most crowded of any casino I have entered so far. The main bar was too packed for my liking and distancing was not happening there. Everything else was more like the first two casinos I mentioned. The tables were spaced as expected with few railbirds blocking the walkways.
Fremont was next. It was not as busy as any of the other three casinos. It was around 20 percent capacity. I noticed all the coin games were gone from it. That was a change from before the closure.
Downtown Grand was also not busy. Its main pit tables were active with the new player limits but there was little other activity. It offered $1 3:2 blackjack at one table.
I completed my downtown trip at California. It was nearly empty. I suspect the lack of access from Fremont Street Experience hurt the foot traffic. The alley between Binion’s and Circa was closed. Binion’s had not opened yet. Players would have needed to walk around the block to get to it.
There was no temperature check at Golden Nugget. The other downtown casinos that opened check patron at the door.
As far as gaming, the main theme was spreading craps, roulette and blackjack. Most did not bother with other games. There was not a single Pai Gow Poker table live downtown on opening night.
Three locals casino stops before going home
After downtown, I dropped by Arizona Charlie’s Decatur, Red Rock Resort and Suncoast. All three screened guests at the entrance. The main gaming difference I noticed beyond the separation is that the pitch blackjack games were all dealt out of a shoe. Otherwise, operations were normal and visitation about what I expected.
Arizona Charlie’s seemed like a normal night. It had guests enter by the door that faces the shopping center and exit through the one facing Decatur. It offered the first Pai Gow Poker table I had seen of the night.
Red Rock Resort was my next stop. The temperature check was different than others. It had you walk through a maze. Security asked me to take my mask off for the camera. From there, it was a normal night. Most table games offered were open. I noticed a new stadium setup that will eventually deal baccarat, 6:5 blackjack and roulette. It was not live yet when I visited around 2:30am on opening night.
Suncoast was my last stop for the evening. I arrived around 3am. It had a similar temperature check to Red Rock where I walked around in a circle. The security people were the politest that I encountered. I walked the floor and did not notice anything interesting beyond the table and slot limits.
More trip reports from the other downtown casino openings from the morning, the Strip, and the locals market, are coming soon.